Foolproof Ways to Boost Your Trade Show Traffic
Getting everything organized to attend a trade show takes a lot of money, time, and effort. Coordinating staff, getting everyone to the event, transporting everything you need to the show safely and on time might even make you question at times whether it was all worth the effort.
It will not have been worth the effort if you can’t guarantee a good flow of traffic to your trade show booth. The good news is that even if you’ve been given an undesirable spot on the trade show floor, you can use a few foolproof ways to ensure plenty of visitors.
Start with social media
Social media is a powerful tool, and it can affect your traffic in a lot of ways. Some people will be hooked on LinkedIn, while others will be more likely to notice something on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t forget Pinterest and YouTube, either, and don’t release everything at once. Instead, create buzz with small bursts of info from various accounts, teasing information and generating interest.
Before the event
Obviously, this all has to start before the event. This isn’t the time to let just anyone write your posts. Invest in quality copy from someone who knows how to work social media and can effectively explain the benefits of attending your booth.
During the event
People are connected every moment of the day, and that includes while they’re walking through the trade show floor. Take advantage of that by creating a hashtag for Twitter, a check-in for Facebook, and live streaming on YouTube.
You can also keep up interest by announcing special events, like a book-signing by your keynote speaker, a free drawing, or a limited-time giveaway. It also doesn’t hurt to include pop-up social media polls for people to vote on and questions to generate online conversations.
After the event
Don’t let your outreach end when the trade show closes. Keep up with the contacts you’ve made before and during the event and be sure to send thank you messages, highlights, and links to more information that people might find useful.
Make things comfortable
Another surefire way of bringing traffic to your booth is to make it a comfortable place for people to hang out. One of the worst things about attending a trade show is all the standing and walking, and after a while, the lights can get pretty uncomfortable, too.
Make standing comfortable
Line your booth with comfortable mats that making standing less of a chore. This also gives you the opportunity to create a more homey and inviting look as well as bring a pop of color to the booth in a way that’s not visually overwhelming.
Provide places to sit
If you provide people with a place to sit, you’re guaranteed that the crowds will constantly come by. Provide a few seats for anyone to use and designate another one or two just for older, disabled, or pregnant attendees. This is a great way to showcase your brand’s values and compassion.
Make it easy on the eyes
Give show attendees a break from the glaring LED lights assaulting their senses at every turn. This doesn’t mean your booth should be dark. It means that, if possible, you should create a welcoming area (perhaps around the seating) where people can get a break from the hectic frenzy of it all. Keep this area well-stocked with ads and brochures, and it won’t be wasted space.
Provide what people really want
This is the most important tip of all, and the one most likely to bring in the crowds. We all know what people want: food, drink, and swag.
Food always brings people in, and many of your competitors will be offering food. Many of these offerings will be slightly stale cupcakes and small bowls of popular candies. This is your chance to really stand out. While it might be too expensive to provide gourmet cupcakes, you can do better than a grocery store bakery.
Everyone loves homemade goods, and you can really leverage the smell factor here. Home-baked chocolate chip cookies are going to smell fantastic and draw the crowds from a lot farther away than the store-bought stuff.
Don’t forget to provide drinks, either. Coffee and other caffeinated offerings are always appreciated, as is water. In recent years, serving beer and wine has become popular. If this is possible, there’s no better way to guarantee you’ll never run short of visitors.
There’s no overestimating the importance of quality swag. Everyone will be providing pens, throwing discs, bags, and occasional hat. If your swag is superior, people will notice the brand name as other attendees mill around and will then look for your booth.
Try partnering or cross-promoting with a local enterprise before you get to the trade show. They get some advertising and some revenue; you get access to less expensive but better quality items and show off your commitment to local and sustainable at the same time.
Or offer something different
Instead of offering stuff, you can also offer an experience or an event. Create tickets that people will notice as they get carried around, and give those tickets away in drawings to attend before-dinner drinks with a keynote speaker or to win a premium item.
As you invest in your trade show booth, don’t forget to also invest in ways to get people there. Get their attention, provide them with what they need, and you’ll be sure of a constant flow of traffic.